Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Baptism of our Lord

Mark 1:4-11
The Three Great Days of Your Life

What would you say was the greatest day of your life? A Wedding? A Graduation? Possibly Childbirth? A Christian has three great days of his/her life; they happen to be the day he is born into this world, the day he is born-again in baptism, and the day he is born into glory. What do you think? Are these the three most important days of your life? Let’s see why these are the three greatest days you will ever have…

1 The day of your birth – "In those days Jesus came from Nazareth" verse 9

Life is a great privilege and adventure. It began on your birthday. When you were born into this world, you became a part of the human race. You became a part of your family. You were given the gift of life and placed here upon this world to be a part of society; to contribute, to provide for others. You were given talents, abilities and gifts to praise God as you serve your neighbor. Yes, your birthday is important for it is the day that you were officially welcomed into this world and were recognized as a person living on this earth.

2 The day of your rebirth-Baptism- "was baptized by John" verse 9

Why is baptism the second greatest day in your life? From the old baptismal rite we recall these words "We also learn from God’s Word that we are all conceived and born sinful and are in need of forgiveness. We would be lost forever unless delivered from sin, death, and everlasting condemnation. But the Father of all mercy and grace has sent His Son Jesus Christ, who atoned for the sin of the whole world that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." (LW Agenda pg. 91) Why is the day of your baptism such an important day? In baptism, we are given life- new life in Jesus.

A. New Birth is given in baptism- "The Spirit descending upon Him like a dove" –10 When Jesus was baptized the Holy Spirit fell on Him and from that moment He began His public work of proclaiming that the Kingdom of God had come. Likewise, when you were baptized you received the Holy Spirit into your life. You received the full measure of the Holy Spirit in your baptism. In your baptism, you were given a new birth, a washing away of your sins and a renewal of the Holy Ghost. There is nothing lacking in you – your baptism makes you complete!

B. When you were baptized you received an adoption into God’s family – the Father called Jesus "My beloved Son" –11 As Jesus was called God’s one and only Son so in your baptism God called you His only child. You are a part of a human family by virtue of your human birth – but what an even greater family you were born into when you became a part of God’s family! You are a child of God! You are a part of God’s family! Because of the wonderful gift of baptism, you are a child of the King!

Transition: The day you were born into this world, the day you are born again in baptism and finally, the third great and glorious day for you is the day that you are born into glory. That’s your third birthday!

3 The day you are born into glory. Jesus would again hear the voice of His Father will you hear His voice too?

A. "Well done good and faithful servant" were the words that Jesus heard as He accomplished all that the Father sent Him out to do. He came into this world to suffer and die for the sins of the entire world. He came to redeem and to save that which was lost. He came to redeem me a lost and condemned creature…He has purchased me from sin, from death and from the power of the devil not with gold or silver but with His holy precious blood and His innocent sufferings and death. Well done! is what the Father will say to you on the day that you enter into glory.

B. Enter into the glory I have prepared for you… That is what the Father will say to you because of the redemption that is found in Christ Jesus. Jesus suffered and died for me so "that I might be His own and live under Him in His kingdom and serve Him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness" "Even as Jesus is risen from the dead so He lives and reigns through all eternity!" Jesus has said, "Because I live you will live also!" Jesus has said, "Were I am going there you will follow" Heaven is your destiny because Jesus Christ has risen to new life and bestows that life to you!

The year 2012 is fresh before us…like a virgin field of fresh fallen snow. A New Year should remind us of grace – God’s do over. We are entering into a new era. What will be said of this generation and of you as you live out your days in the year 2012 and beyond? May it be said of us that we have found the importance of these three important days of our lives. Live for Christ daily – make each day count! In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

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